chapter  13
18 Pages

Molecular detection of fungal communities in soil

ByEric Smit, Francisco de Souza and Renske Landeweert

Fungi are an important group of microorganisms inhabiting a diverse range of ecosystems (1). The majority of fungi are multicellular organisms. They can have a sexual and/ or asexual lifecycle with numerous species forming fruiting bodies and producing large numbers of spores. Due to their filamentous growth, fungi are highly efficient in mineralizing virtually any organic substrate. Saprotrophic fungi colonize dead substrates, while necrotrophic and mutualistic fungal species colonize living tissues by means of highly specialized infection structures. Several fungal species have antagonistic properties that prevent the development of other potentially pathogenic fungi and bacteria.